Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summertime, and the living is easy . . .

School's out, it hasn't snowed for almost a month, and sprinkler-running children are beginning to make a regular appearance in the neighborhood. All of which means that my cooking is drifting towards summer-related foods. In our last class, we demonstrated a tres leches cake recipe. There were lots of "oooooohs" and "aaaaaahs". Just this last Monday, I took the same cake to a family barbeque, and my in-laws' in-laws requested the recipe. It's a cool kind of a cake, needing to be refrigerated for long-term storage, but there is seldom any need to store it long term. :) It's taken me a while to post a picture, because I have seldome been able to find the camera before the cake is gone!

Tres Leches Cake

2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. featherlight mix
1/2 c. GF mix
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
6 large eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla


1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. milk (or cream)

Place all dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Mix together on low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure all the flour gets mixed it. Using the whisk attachment, beat the cake batter on high speed for about 5 minutes. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes. My cakes have always had a slight dip towards the center . . . but it'll be covered with cool whip later, so don't worry about it.

While the cake is baking, blend together the topping ingredients. Store the topping in the fridge until the cake is done. Pour half of the topping over the warm cake, using a spoon to spread it across the surface of the cake until it has all soaked in. (Most of it will probably soak into the middle, but you want to do your best to help it soak in evenly over the whole cake. You may poke small holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick to aid in absorption if you want, but it's not necessary.) Return the remainder of the topping to the fridge. (Stick the cake in there, too, if you've got room.)

As you can see, the topping soaks into the cake quite well. So don't worry that it won't all fit in . . . it will!

Once the cake is cool, slowly pour the rest of the topping over the cake. (I pour topping on one side of the cake at a time, tilting the pan to ensure that the topping doesn't just all slip right back to the middle of the cake. The goal is to ensure that the whole cake is moistened with the milk topping.) Once all the topping has been absorbed by the cake, cover the cake with Cool Whip (or real whipped cream if you have it). Garnish it with fresh sliced fruit such as strawberries and kiwi, if you like. Then return it to the fridge until ready to serve. (It's really good after it's been in the fridge for 2 hours or so.)